On Saturday, November 10, I decided to watch Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable, a documentary directed by Aaron Lieber that highlights the ups and downs of Bethany Hamilton’s journey. Bethany Hamilton is a professional and well-known surfer, who is an inspiration to many people around the world, especially to those who have to cope with different adaptabilities as she lost her left arm to a 25 foot tiger shark at the age of 13. To be frank, I was debating if I wanted to go see it at first possibly because I am honestly not a fan of being in the water/ocean (which is ironic since I grew up in Hawai’i), but I am super happy that I attended the screening.
Some of my favorite scenes throughout the documentary included the tricks that she managed to do despite having only one arm as a way to showcase that anything is possible as long as you put your mind and heart to it. I really like how her father created a handle for her surfboard in order to easily duck dive through the water. What I realized while I was watching was that her timeline did not follow chronologically, which is what I admired in order to truly show how her passion progresses in the documentary. My favorite part of it was how the documentary included some of her family and friends, which most (if not, all) of them showed up on the day of the screening, indicating that she is a “family first” individual. Also, she and her husband Adam gave birth to her first child Tobias, but that did not hinder her on following her dreams and she is still continuing to reach for her goals. To me, I think that it is a very uplifting message and I wish I can be motivated as her since we do not have to choose one path or the other, but we can balance/multitask on two different responsibilities.
I was also super happy to stick around to the Q&A and I was surprised that it was originally going to be an eight-minute video, but I am glad that is was not since I assume that it would not have made as much of an impact as Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable. It was insightful for her to still continue surfing as she will always love doing it and to know that she is a faithful individual as I was honestly unaware of the fact that she is a Christian. I appreciated her message about the rose metaphor scene in the documentary as we all have to be more conscious of our bodies. Also, a piece of advice that captivated me the most was when she said we “felt beautiful in God’s eyes.” In other words, no matter if a rose petals, it will still be beautiful, which I believe was fitting as we all have flaws/insecurities such as Bethany losing her arm.
To conclude this post, if you want to see a film/documentary that not only provides clean cuts and action shots/sequences but also inspirational words, you definitely need to see Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable. In fact, I think this is one of my favorite documentaries that I have watched in a long time. To Bethany, you are one unstoppable force and hero to everybody and please continue to catch those waves wherever you go!